Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Large protests mark Biden’s visit to Milwaukee

By staff

Large protest marks Biden's visit to Milwaukee. | Fight Back! News/Omar Flores

Pro-Palestine protesters stand ground against police during Biden's visit to Milwaukee. | Fight Back! News/Sabine Wolter

Milwaukee, WI – U.S. President Joe Biden paid Milwaukee a visit on December 20 to deliver remarks at the Black Chamber of Commerce as part of his “Bidenomics” talks. Details of his visit were kept minimal until Tuesday evening, but that did not deter members and supporters of the Wisconsin Coalition for Justice in Palestine from assembling outside of the security perimeter set up around the venue.

For the Biden campaign, it was a strategic visit, as Wisconsin will play a key role in the presidential elections next fall, and if Biden can’t win Milwaukee, odds are small for winning Wisconsin.

As the anticipation of Biden’s arrival grew, the crowd of protesters grew to several hundred people. Chants of “Genocide Joe” and “Free Palestine” were loud enough that the venue resorted to playing music in a desperate attempt to drown out the protesters.

Tensions grew as Milwaukee police multiplied their presence and threatened arrest, but they failed to move the protesters further away from the venue. The fierce and brave protesters began to loudly chant, “We will not move!” and they held their ground. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the people of Milwaukee delivered a clear message to Joe Biden and the complicit Wisconsin Democrats: End all U.S. aid to Israel and stop the genocide of Palestinians, or else lose in 2024.

To provide an opportunity for people who were at work during Biden’s brief visit to protest him, the Wisconsin Coalition for Justice in Palestine had also called for a rally and march at 6 p.m. Although Biden had already fled Milwaukee, nearly 500 people gathered at Dontre Hamilton/Red Arrow Park ready to march.

Alan Chavoya, Outreach Chair of the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, welcomed the energized crowd and reminded them of the significance of marching from Dontre Hamilton Park: “We must not forget that almost ten years ago, Milwaukee police killed Dontre Hamilton in this park. These are the same police officers who were threatening us with arrests as Genocide Joe spoke. These police officers who terrorize Black and brown communities in Milwaukee are the same ones who train with the Israeli occupying forces!” Chavoya said.

While the focus was rightfully on the Palestinian struggle, speakers at the march also established links between Palestinian liberation and other issues that the Biden administration has been failing at. Jacob Flom, president of AFSCME Local 526, spoke on behalf of the Wisconsin Labor for Palestine and said, “We’re protesting Biden today because he’s going around saying he’s the most ‘pro-labor’ president in history. I can tell you that nickname didn’t come from us, the workers. Pro-labor presidents don’t bomb hospitals, schools, civil defense workers, journalists and media workers, and they don’t commit genocide!”

Flom delivered a powerful message of labor solidarity with Palestine, stating, “When workers in Palestine are calling on solidarity from the workers of the world, especially those of us here in the U.S., the belly of the beast, because they are getting slaughtered and massacred by our government, we’re going to stand in solidarity with them.”

Over the past 75 days, Biden has been rapidly losing support on many fronts, but the losses aren’t only materializing in electoral support. U.S. imperialism and the murderous Zionists are becoming increasingly isolated, and the armed Palestinian resistance is winning.

Ryan Hamann of Freedom Road Socialist Organization spoke to the significance of these conditions. “The popular Palestinian armed resistance is winning the war on the field of battle, and it’s winning the fight for the hearts and minds of the people of the world,” Hamann said. “The blows are coming from all sides now as the allies of resistance flex their muscles. Eleven of the world’s largest shipping companies have shut down all traffic to Israel through the Red Sea on account of the broader resistance in the region.”

The combined actions represented a significant and historic day for Palestinian solidarity in Milwaukee. Much like the global trend, the movement for support of Palestinian liberation has grown tremendously in Milwaukee over the past decade. Thousands of people from young children to elders carrying signs reminding the world that they are “older than Israel” denounced Biden’s visit to Milwaukee. They confronted the Milwaukee police with bravery and courage, and they made it clear that there is unwavering support for Palestine in Milwaukee.

#MilwaukeeWI #PeoplesStruggles #Biden #Elections #Palestine #International